Closure of Power Stations will have much wider implications for local economy

Longford Leader Reporter

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Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy

Longford/Westmeath TD Robert Troy

Robert Troy said it is time for Bord na Móna to be upfront on future for 1,400 workers

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Robert Troy, has said the closure of Lanesboro and Shannonbridge Power Stations with a combined 80 job losses will have much wider implications for the entire Bord na Móna network which employs approximately 1,400 people.

Also read: Power plant in Lanesboro to cease power generation by December 2020

Deputy Troy said the CEO of Bord na Móna must now come forward and spell out where the future of the company lies and that he should meet with Oireachtas members and local stakeholders to outline his plans for the company and its employees.

Deputy Troy said, “While today’s announcement is undoubtedly devastating for the employees and their families in the two Power Stations, it does have wider ramifications for the 1,400 Bord na Móna employees spread throughout the region.

“Earlier this year 400 people lost their jobs and the uncertainty facing the rest of the employees must be excruciating. 500 job losses in one year in rural Ireland is akin to 5,000 job losses in Dublin City Centre – it’s devastating.

“The €6 million just transition fund, which was only secured through pressure from Fianna Fáil, is not going to be near enough to cover the loss."

Also read: 'Accelerated exit from Peat will be accompanied by Just Transition for workers and the Midlands'

Continuing Deputy Troy stated, “It’s important to remember that there was a timeline in place, signed-off by the Government. The transition was to be gradual and would provide space for viable alternatives to be established, that timeline has gone out the window and the Government is standing over the decimation of a region and the loss of livelihoods.

“Following recent job losses in Molex in Shannon, Minister Humphreys convened a meeting of key stakeholders to discuss a transition for the workers to new positions and to find a new investor for the site.

“If the Government think they can take a more hands-off approach in this instance by referencing the Just Transition Fund then they have another think coming”, concluded Deputy Troy.

Also read: Closure of Lanesboro Power Station a 'major blow' to Co Longford